The Obama Recovery That Wasn’t

23460287881_0135cd4633_qBy Stephen Moore- In the Washington Times:

A new report from Sentier Research based on Census data finds that median household income of $56,700 at the end of 2015 stood exactly where it was adjusted for inflation at the end of 2007.

That’s eight years of virtually zero income gain. And President Obama and his Washington political pundits wonder why voters are in such a cranky mood.

Last week the Joint Economic Committee of Congress issued a report on the Obama recovery loaded with even more dismal news. On almost every measure examined, the 2009-15 recovery since the recovery ended in June of 2009 has been the meekest in more than 50 years.

Start with the broadest measure of economic progress: growth in output. The chart below compares the Obama growth pace with that of the average recovery coming out of the last eight recessions and with the Reagan recovery and over the same number of months (77). Democrats used to disparage the Reagan expansion as nothing special, yet the growth rate over the first 25 quarters under Reagan was 34 percent versus 14.3 percent under Obama.

How much does this matter? If we had grown at an average pace, GDP in 2015 would have been about $1.8 trillion higher. Under the Reagan recovery growth would have been $2.7 trillion higher.

It is certainly true that every recession is different in cause and consequences, so the JEC dug deeper into the numbers. It examined GDP growth on a per-capita basis. The Reagan recovery was abnormally strong in part because it happened when millions of baby boomers swept into the work force adding to growth. But even on a per-capita basis, real GDP has grown only 9.0 percent versus 18.8 percent for the average recovery. That is the lowest of any post-1960 recovery.

Next the JEC measured job market trends. Again we see a failing record. Yes, official unemployment of just over 5 percent today is very low. But that’s the biggest lie in America — right up there with “we’re from the government and we’re here to help.”

Read more at the Washington Times.

To learn more about Stephen Moore, visit SupplySideEconomist.com.

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